help! 3 weeks into VM....... : hi there. i... - Meningitis Now

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help! 3 weeks into VM.......

tbhany profile image

hi there. i was in the hospital for 3 days with fever, head pain etc and was put on tramadol/aleve/acetaminophan and an anti-nausea med..... came home and it got better/worse/better worse.... some days i can function and then today, i was totally wiped out and could barely move. i've been home for 2 weeks and still haven't been able to exercise or go out or so much of anything. i have my own business and my employees have been covering me but I dont know how long this can go on.......... the doctors and websites etc say 7-10 days for VM recovery but these forums suggest that it takes much longer and i will basically not be able to work or exercise for a long time. this is really scary. not only so i run my own business but i am a mother of two and have a lot of responsibility. are there other holistic treatments available ? diet? ugh this is a nightmare .

9 Replies

Sorry to hear you are unwell, but you need to give yourself time to recover and most importantly rest. Plenty of rest. Working something out with your employees is the only way you can get the rest you need. Believe me I've been where you are currently and the only way you can get back to work is take it slowly. You will recover, but you need to give yourself time. It took me 3 months to get back to work and only half-time at first. All the best.

I can completely relate to how you’re feeling. I was diagnosed with VM 18 months and the effects are still with me. I wouldn’t be able to get through life if I hadn’t of changed my diet. A lot of food contain inflammatory properties which heighten the pain in your head, I have virtually cut these out of my diet and when I do eat them I am well aware that I have! My diet contains now most anti-inflammatory foods and I eat these at certain times of the day as well which I find helps and if I feel any pain coming in I turn to these first before pain relief now.

I found reflexology helped with my nerve pain although I still have it and have been told I will probably for life now. Just try not to rush into anything, be honest with people about how you’re feeling and what you’re experiencing.

tbhany profile image
tbhany in reply to MooreJH

thank you!!! can you please send me the diet you are following ?

MooreJH profile image
MooreJH in reply to tbhany

Do lots of research into anti-inflammatory and inflammatory foods and start to go from there. Wheat, dairy and gluten are high in inflammatory properties so reduce these as much as you can or cut them out and find alternatives. Apples, plums, berries, pineapple, salmon and green veg are very high in anti-inflammatory properties along with spices like tumeric. You can buy tumeric capsules which are good but I struggle to swallow tablets of that size so I just lather my food in it instead. I use coconut milk as my dairy alternative in coffee and cereal and then for breakfast I have berries and an apple, mid morning some pineapple. For dinner I either have chicken or salmon with either an asoertment of green veg or peppers, onions and garlic. Mid afternoon a plum, although this is seasonal, then for tea something like a sweet potato jacket or gluten free pasta with veg or couscous. It takes a while to get your head round it but it’s easily achieved. I’m at the point now where I can eat something ‘bad’ aslong as I eat something really good either side of it to try and counteract the inflammatory properties. Two days ago I ate a sandwich and within half an hour the pain in my head was throbbing so I quickly ate an apple and some pineapple and within 45 minutes the pain had subsided.

You’ll find things that work best for you but I couldn’t live without my diet now, it’s mt lifeline. There are so so many foods with these properties in and then you’ll just put things together that work for you, good luck!

Hi, I am 16 years post near fatal VM so I hope I can help. Basically the websites and doctors are wrong and not based on any recent research (and by that I mean the research was last done in the 1950s) and if you look at the information on the Meningitis Now website this is a much better source of information. Everyone's recovery from VM is different but the common theme is that yes it can take some time but the only way to get there is to rest. You are very early on in your recovery, I still couldn't walk or talk properly at the same stage and I could barely move without feeling exhausted. I tried to push through it and crack on because the doctors in hospital told me that whilst I had almost died the danger had passed and I would recover in a couple of weeks. I ended up going back to hospital in an ambulance on sirens and lights with no discernible blood pressure and heart rate dropping through 27. I remember the paramedic saying to his colleague 'better put the lights and noise on Dave, we're losing him' then I blacked out.

At this point in your recovery I would recommend pacing yourself each day, don't try and do too much one day because it will wipe you out for the next few days. Your body has undergone a major trauma and if you had broken your leg you wouldn't be trying to run on it three weeks later and this is the same with VM. It's better to try and work for 2 hours a day a week rather than 10 hours in one day. Those 2 hours don't have to be continuous, work for 30 minutes and rest. If you want to exercise (I was training for my first sea swim triathlon in the weeks before I became ill so I do understand) then little and often if you feel able to but I cannot stress enough that rest it what you must do. You will not recover properly unless you listen to your body and rest when you need to, ignoring the tiredness is I can assure you a recipe for disaster. Most people say they just want to get back to normal but after VM you may have to adjust what normal means, the life you had before may not be the one you have after VM.

There is light at the end of the tunnel though, after a 5 year break from triathlon to let my brain injury and after effects settle down I went back to triathlon, only short ones to start with but in 2012 to celebrate being a 10 year survivor I did my first half ironman and I since done two more plus half marathons, sprint and standard races too. I also run my own business so I do understand the pressures.

I am now a volunteer community ambassador for Meningitis Now and I have also written blog posts on here about my experience of recovery from VM (just click on my profile and then click on 'posts') which might help. If I can help further please message me on here and I will happily share my email address with you. Good luck and hang in there, Jonathan

JenOsul profile image
JenOsul in reply to Jonad724

This has been great to read! Congratulations on your achievements and Thankyou for your words of wisdom

Sorry to hear about both your diagnosis and after effects. I am 2 months post intro VM. Hit me like a frieght train. Had sever memory issues, dizziness and just felt like another person for ages. Sleep became this weird paradigm of have to try and stay asleep and remembering that Inhad actually slept. I was at my whits end - doctors were unhelpful at best, lots of meds to treat symptoms but no real investigation into why I was feeling this way. I decided to try something that went against all - I joined this thing called Ultimate You - weight loss and diet program. After three days in it I had what could only be described as the best sleep of my life! It isn’t easy and fatigue is hard with he exercising, but the change in diet and 5lt water a day has helped. Still not as quick as Inused to be - but man I am feeling soooo much more like normal. Basically cut out Dairy/ Carbs/ sugar - focussing on set amount of protein and fruit/ veg 6 times a day. If you want me to flick you over the nutrition plan just send me a PM. Also - I am not selling this, work for or have any affiliation with UY - just a massive fan boy as it has made me feel “normalise” again.

Good luck!


Big hugs. Its worth downloading the factsheet on viral meningitis from the resources section on MN website

The good news is that although 97% of people do experience after effects only 17 percent have them for longer than 6 months. So 83% have fully recovered by 6 months.

You will find the people suffering most here as they are the ones needing support, people who have recovered are mostly gone back to being busy living their normal lives again.

Go gently and pace your recovery gradually, don't push it to hard too soon. It takes a good while to recover from a viral brain injury.

Ginger and trumeric with black pepper have anti inflammatory properties and are well researched.

I have cut out gluten and cow dairy (A2 casein is believed to be inflammatory) and am veggie but that is for another condition. Be a little cautious of fad diets there is a lot of pseudoscience out there.

Take care xx

Please give my daughters success story a read!

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